rtg24

RIP Capitalism

82 posts in this topic

. . .

My brother attended a "good" UK state school. He talked of chairs thrown at teachers, of fireworks set off in the corridors (hitting students), of pigeons sliced with knives in the canteen... Remember also that underperformance is already systematized in the UK. University selection is done on "GCSEs" - exams you take when you are 16. A student in a UK state school is usually not allowed to enter for a grade higher than C:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Certi...Education#Tiers

Tiers

In many subjects, there are two different 'tiers' of examination offered:

Higher, where students can achieve grades A*–D

Foundation, where they can achieve grades C–G

If a candidate fails to obtain a Grade G on the Foundation tier or a Grade D on the Higher tier they will fail the course and receive a U. Candidates who narrowly miss a Grade D on the Higher tier, however, are awarded a Grade E. In non-tiered subjects, such as History, the examination paper allows candidates to achieve any grade. Coursework also always allows candidates to achieve any grade.

Now I know where JK Rowling got her creative grading scale for Hogwarts students in the Harry Potter series:
Most O.W.L.s consist of two parts, a written theoretical test and a practical demonstration of skills before the examiners. Subjects are graded on the following scale:Passing Grades

  • O = Outstanding
  • E = Exceeds Expectations
  • A = Acceptable

Failing Grades

  • P = Poor
  • D = Dreadful
  • T = Troll

Except that, in Hogwarts, at least, students were expected to "exceed expectations" in order to be admitted to advanced levels of study.

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The impression I have is that America was uniquely affected by the progressive movement in education; apparently Europe and other places weren't as disastrously influenced.

Oh Mann, Dewey have a problem!

Bob Kolker

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19th century America in its essentials. If you want something in which every principle was implemented in law, even if not fully applied, that didn't happen. But in comparison with other societies, America was essentially capitalist, a distinction of fact that must be retained. The success and then loss of that earlier character is real and worth noting. Arguing by a standard of Platonic-like ideals and glibly lumping everything together that doesn't qualify is not very helpful. Neither are diversions about what percentages of which features occurred exactly when to push it over the edge into a mixed system. It is more useful to identify conceptually that America was essentially capitalist and then look at specific historical facts of what went wrong and right and how we got to today's mess. The things that were wrong in the early days are not unimportant and were certainly not irrelevant to those hurt by them, but they are irrelevant for purposes of general classification. Still, we know that capitalism was never fully implemented or fully intended to be, and we do not pretend otherwise. Not to further discourage you, but a good book, mentioned here on the Forum previously and showing that in some ways things were already being undermined in America from the earliest days in ways most people don't know about, is Arthur Ekirch's The Decline of American Liberalism -- it didn't wait to start to go bad until 1936 :-(

America of the 19th century (up until 1865) was a slave republic. While it was illegal to buy and sell slaves in some states, property rights in slaves were to be recognized in ALL states. This was the thrust of the infamous Dred Scott decision wherein Justice Tanney of the highest court in the land ruled that human slaves had no rights anyone was bound to recognize. Furthermore the U.S. Constitution required that the legal authorities in all States co-operate in the return of escaped slaves. The Fugitive Slave Act spelled this out in further detail.

Perhaps you think it Platonic of me to regard the legal status of ownership in human beings as an evil thing. I am a propertarian from top to bottom and left to right and from front to back. All humans own their bodies, their time and their energy. Capitalism is all about the private ownership of the means of production. Our bodies (including our mind/brains) are our means of production. We own them fully, exclusively and privately. Any political order that contradicts self ownership is not only unjust, it is anti-captitalistic. In this regard (and it is an important regard) 19th century U.S.A. was anti-capitalistic.

Human Slave toleration and Capitalism are contrary. Period. End of statement.

But that is just me being Platonic again. Or is it me being concrete bound?

Slavery, which dominated in the more feudalist south and adversely affected a small minority of the population, was eliminated by 1865 because it was incompatible with the founding principles and nature of this country and could not be tolerated. If America had not been predominately capitalist it would not have been eliminated. No one here has said that slavery is capitalist or denied that it existed. We form concepts based on similarities and differences for purposes of classification, not unachievable "ideals" as "limiting cases" that don't exist -- America was essentially capitalist as against the rest of the world, which predominately was not. The difference matters. Dismissing the capitalist nature and value of America, and the significance of its loss, in sarcastic lectures about slavery and sophistry about "ideal gases" that don't exist so there was nothing to lose isn't going to work. Dramatically writing out punctuation doesn't help either. It seems that it's not the facts that you are concerned with, but rather selecting certain facts out of context to dismiss the concern that others have in mourning the loss of capitalism incorporating values that did exist, as if there was no essentially capitalist society to lose.

Historical fact: The population of the Southern States at the outbreak of the Civil War was 9,000,000 of which 4,000,000 were Negro Slaves.

Some small minority that was.

The percentage of slaves on plantations, where the slaves were enslaved, was even higher. The percentage of slaves in the population of the nation, as opposed to "the south", was much less. Sarcastic sniping around the edges with out of context factiods in search of relevance to the topic isn't helping. I had already written that "slavery dominated in the more feudualist south" in that period. After the civil war, it was abolished (which made it zero percent) because it could not be tolerated in a free country. No one is arguing that slavery is capitalist, or that slavery was good, or that is was not serious, or that most people on the slave plantations weren't slaves.

The original post in this thread decried the loss of capitalism, not slavery. There has, in fact, been a great deal to lose, and there is still more to lose. The dismissive response -- claiming there was nothing to lose because, allegedly, the concept of capitalism, like an "ideal gas", only pertains to an "ideal" "limit" unattainable in reality so it couldn't exist in the first place -- is sophistry, not a sign of superior logic or insights. It doesn't even reach the point of discussing how much had already been lost or what is left, in terms of slave populations or anything else. At best it is "wisecracking" sophomoric equivocation. At worst it is a destructive notion of conceptual thought casting concepts as referring to non-existent "ideals" rather than reality, which makes understanding -- and evidently serious conceptual discussion -- impossible.

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The impression I have is that America was uniquely affected by the progressive movement in education; apparently Europe and other places weren't as disastrously influenced.

There were unique aspects to American education following the progressives, but the whole theory and philosophy of education was 'inspired' by European intellectuals, who have been more destructive faster in Europe than in America. Whatever the comparisons of education and school behavior in different parts of the world and within America, there is a big problem.

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Slavery, which dominated in the more feudalist south and adversely affected a small minority of the population, was eliminated by 1865 because it was incompatible with the founding principles and nature of this country and could not be tolerated.

Historical fact: The population of the Southern States at the outbreak of the Civil War was 9,000,000 of which 4,000,000 were Negro Slaves.

Some small minority that was.

Bob Kolker

4,000,000 times 3/5 = 2,400,000.

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The impression I have is that America was uniquely affected by the progressive movement in education; apparently Europe and other places weren't as disastrously influenced.

There were unique aspects to American education following the progressives, but the whole theory and philosophy of education was 'inspired' by European intellectuals, who have been more destructive faster in Europe than in America. Whatever the comparisons of education and school behavior in different parts of the world and within America, there is a big problem.

Yeah, I think originally the American system of local teachers that taught the children of a village or town was replaced by the Prussian organized education system, with strict discipline and larger classes and all that. I think that is one event that really moved education into the wrong direction because the German type education was much more collectivist and intended to produce loyal citizens and all that, and I think one of the greatest tragedies of the 19th century is the gradual elimination of free schooling that existed before that time.

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The impression I have is that America was uniquely affected by the progressive movement in education; apparently Europe and other places weren't as disastrously influenced.

There were unique aspects to American education following the progressives, but the whole theory and philosophy of education was 'inspired' by European intellectuals, who have been more destructive faster in Europe than in America. Whatever the comparisons of education and school behavior in different parts of the world and within America, there is a big problem.

Yeah, I think originally the American system of local teachers that taught the children of a village or town was replaced by the Prussian organized education system, with strict discipline and larger classes and all that. I think that is one event that really moved education into the wrong direction because the German type education was much more collectivist and intended to produce loyal citizens and all that, and I think one of the greatest tragedies of the 19th century is the gradual elimination of free schooling that existed before that time.

A good book on the history of how this came about in the US was discussed here on the Forum. It wasn't a matter of class size or discipline as such, but how the 'discipline' of the whole populace was imposed by the state and for what purpose as the schools became an instrument of state control over what children are taught.

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